FRIDAY, July 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The population-level health risks associated with low levels of alcohol consumption vary across regions and are greater for younger adults, according to a study published in the July 16 issue of The Lancet.

Dana Bryazka, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, and colleagues constructed burden-weighted dose-response relative risk curves across 22 health outcomes to estimate the theoretical minimum risk exposure level (TMREL) and nondrinker equivalence (NDE; level at which health risk is equivalent to that of a nondrinker) using disease rates from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2020.

The researchers observed variation by region and age in the burden-weighted relative risk curves for alcohol use. Among individuals aged 15 to 39 years in 2020, there was variation in the TMREL, from 0 to 0.603 standard drinks per day, while the NDE varied from 0.002 to 1.75 standard drinks per day. The burden-weighted relative risk curve was J-shaped for all regions among individuals aged 40 years and older, with a 2020 TMREL varying from 0.114 to 1.87 standard drinks per day and an NDE ranging from 0.193 to 6.94 standard drinks per day. Of those consuming harmful amounts of alcohol in 2020, 59.1 and 76.9 percent were aged 15 to 39 years and men, respectively.

“The findings of this study support the development of tailored guidelines and recommendations on alcohol consumption by age and across regions and highlight that existing low consumption thresholds are too high for younger populations in all regions,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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